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The overall health of Soldiers, DA Civilians and family members is key to readiness and remains a priority for the Army.

I am the new Community Ready and Resilient Integrator/Suicide Prevention Program Manager with the Garrison Army Substance Abuse Program. I will be an educator and advocate of activities that promote wellness within the community and make Team Lee members aware of behaviors that often lead to personal and professional hardships and/or individuals veering toward destructive thoughts and behaviors.

Addiction in all forms has a direct impact on readiness. Recently, the Installation Management Command-Training asked post leaders and community health advocates to raise awareness about gambling addiction. It can be detrimental to readiness and security by not only creating financial hardships for service members but also making them more susceptible to extortion and radicalization, as we have all learned during our annual cyber-awareness training.

Gambling is a problem if it causes problems. Too much time spent on gambling can lead to job loss and relationship and legal problems. Excessive gambling can also cause mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and even thoughts of suicide.

Everyone is encouraged to reach out to local resources if they feel they are being impacted by a gambling problem. Resources on the installation exist to assist with assessing concerns.

Service members are encouraged to contact Behavioral Health at 804-734-9623 or their unit chaplain. Civilian employees and family members may contact the Employee Assistance Program at 804-931-5111 for a range of support options on- and off-post. To contact me directly, call 804-734-7226 or email me at claire.l.dermer.civ@mail.mil.

To read more on this topic, including how COVID-19 could contribute to the problem, Team Lee members are encouraged to read the IMCOM article at the following link – www.army.mil/article/239849/imcom_education_to_prevent_problematic_gambling_to_support_readiness.